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Alberta First Nation calls for environmental review of mountain town projects

An Alberta First Nation has added its voice to a call for a provincial environmental assessment on two major property development projects in a neighbouring mountain town.

Stoney Nakoda First Nations have sent a letter to the province seeking an assessment on the Three Sisters Village and Smith Creek projects in Canmore, Alta.

The Stoney Nakoda are comprised of the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney First Nations.

The letter says the Stoney Nakoda require traditional lands to be ecologically functional to continue their cultural and traditional practices such as hunting, gathering, camping and fishing.

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Both Canmore projects comprise everything from residential homes to resort facilities and commercial development.

The concerns come after a group of Canmore residents also asked the government to follow its own legislation and require an environmental assessment be done on the developments.

Canmore town council had initially rejected the projects, which could almost double the town’s population, but the Land and Property Rights Tribunal of Alberta ruled in 2022 that both developments could go ahead.

The town, west of Calgary and adjacent to Banff National Park, then unsuccessfully challenged that decision in the Court of Appeal of Alberta and it has since moved forward on the developments.

Stoney Nakoda First Nations have also filed a court application against the town and the Alberta government to halt the developments. That case is scheduled to be in the Court of King’s Bench later this month.

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